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Who is the best pitcher of all time?

 
 
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 08:43 pm
I thought since there were a couple Yankees/Red Sox threads, I'd keep to the theme of the week, and throw in another baseball thread.

So who is it? I have heard of the great pitchers of the past, but I don't know much about them really. Just the legendary status. I wonder how good they really were though, compared to today's players.

I'd say Randy Johnson has to be up there with the greatest ever. He's got to be the best pitcher of his era, at least. That guy is amazing. Would Roger Clemens make the cut? Mariano Rivera? As a closer, nobody else comes close. Not counting last week, of course. Smile

By the way, has anybody ever seen somebody throw a perfect game?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 16,142 • Replies: 115

 
Lady J
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 01:06 am
Nolan Ryan. Hands down in my opinion.

*Top 3 percentage vote Hall of Famers: #1-Tom Seaver (1992-425 of 430 votes for 98.84%; #2-Nolan Ryan (1999-491 of 497 votes for 98.79%; #3-Ty Cobb (1936-222 of 226 votes for 98.23%).

*Nolan Ryan is the only player in Major League Baseball history to have his uniform retired by three different teams, the Angels, Astros, Rangers.

*Nolan Ryan compiled 53 MLB records during a career that lasted 27 seasons; threw 5,714 strikeouts, 7 no-hitters, and won 324 games.

*Nolan Ryan holds the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing the fastest baseball pitched at 100.9 miles per hour. Rockwell scientists recorded it on August 20, 1974 against Bee Bee Richard of the Chicago White Sox on a 3-2 high fastball in the 9th inning. The ball crossed home plate in 0.38 seconds.

*The nickname "the Ryan Express" was originated by the New York media. While with the Mets, the movie "Von Ryan's Express" was a recent big hit. The newspapers started this reference. Nolan Ryan was flattered.

I think the real kicker for me though was: He threw his last no-hitter at the age of 44! I have always thought of him as an amazing player and an amazing man.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 07:29 am
I would think Nolan Ryan. For the best pitcher currently, Randy Johnson I could see. I would not say Roger Clemens, but that is probably as much as I cannot stand the guy. Awesome pitcher but a jerk otherwise. Both Ryan and Johnson are also outstanding individuals. It is very difficult for me to make a subjective opinion on a baseball player - I also consider the personality too.
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Roberta
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:00 am
I think it's almost impossible to compare pitchers in the modern era to those of the past. Pitchers nowadays rarely pitch complete games.

Although I do believe that Nolan Ryan is one of the best ever, as is Sandy Koufax, and maybe Randy Johnson, I'm going with what my father told me and from what I've read. I'm saying that Walter Johnson was the best ever. In addition to pitching on a losing team his entire career, his stats are amazing. And he could hit.

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/Johnson_Walter.htm
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:05 am
I'll agree with Roberta with placing Sandy Koufax at or near the top.
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willow tl
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:06 am
What about Satchel Paige...
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:08 am
I'm sorry, but we can not accept nominations from people who go by the name of willow_tl.

This thread is for serious baseball enthusiasts only.
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willow tl
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:12 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
I'm sorry, but we can not accept nominations from people who go by the name of willow_tl.

This thread is for serious baseball enthusiasts only.
ouch..

there are some great stats that might suggest Paige as a nominee...

Joe Dimaggio called him the best and fastest pitcher he ever faced...when he joined to majors he was in his 40's...1934 he won 104 of 105 games pitched...and you do Mr. Paige a disservice if you disqualify him because of the person who nominated him... Shocked
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gustavratzenhofer
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:25 am
Just messin' with ya', willow. I'm sure you are quite the baseball afficianado and I have the utmost respect of your opinion.
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willow tl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 08:28 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
Just messin' with ya', willow. I'm sure you are quite the baseball afficianado and I have the utmost respect of your opinion.


I was hoping Gus..but you are correct, i am not a baseball affic..yeah that thing..but i am aware of some stats as i had a front row seat to Ken Burns baseball documentary :wink:
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 10:10 am
What about Cy Young himself?

Honorable mention goes to Don Larsen for pitching the only perfect game ever in a World Series game. I think that could legitimately be called the best individual game performance by a pitcher, ever.
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Region Philbis
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 02:19 pm
closer-wise, eric gagne has the potential to be as good, if not better than mariano rivera.
in his first 3 seasons as a closer, gagne's accumulated 152 saves (rivera had 124 in his first 3).

its not easy to narrow down the best pitcher of all time.
nolan ryan, for example was overpowering and threw 7 no-hitters.
but he also walked a high number of batters, and finished his career a mere 32 games over .500...

koufax only pitched for 10 years, so his career stats pale next to pitchers who had longer careers...

will have to think about this some more Smile
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George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 02:37 pm
Boy, do I hate to admit this, but my vote is for Roger Clemens. For a guy who was traded from Boston in "the twilight of his career", he just keeps on keepin on.
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Dartagnan
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 02:45 pm
I was going to nominate Cy Young, too, given the fact that the award is named after him.

But for someone I've actually seen pitch (when I was a little kid), how about Warren Spahn? Won more games than any other left hander in history. You could look it up...
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George
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 02:51 pm
D'Art, you saw Spahn pitch?
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Dartagnan
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 03:19 pm
On TV (only).
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 04:04 pm
I really don't know how Cy Young did what he did. Most games, wins, ect. The guy pitched pretty much every freakin' game. That's how they pitched guys back then. But it's such a different game now vs. then, I don't know if it's possible to pin down the best ever.

In this half of the century, Roger Clemens may get my vote too. He's been so dominating for so long, the guy has had just an amazing career.

I'm too tired to think of others. Nolan is up there as well.

And for the short term, I don't know who was more dominating in his prime than Pedro Martinez. I'm not saying he was the best pitcher ever, but at one point he was as good as anyone ever was.
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Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 03:59 pm
i've always thought dwight gooden's 1985 cy young season was the most dominating performance i've ever seen with my own eyes:

24-4, 1.53 era, 8 shutouts, 16 complete games, 268 k's, 69 walks, 47 earned runs allowed in 276.2 innings pitched.

too bad he threw away his career for coke...
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Child of the Light
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Oct, 2004 12:03 pm
Cy Young won 500 something games. He pitched day after day, no five day rest. He didn't pitch 7 and then leave it up to a Closer, he finished what he started.

I don't think a Closer should ever be brought up in a best pitcher ever debate. The best Closer ever is Lee Smith and how often do you hear his name about anything?

Now for Rivera. I have never thought of him as elite. You hear "Hammer of God" and how he is unhitable in the playoffs. Complete crrrap. 96 Yanks won World Series, he didn't close, he set up for Wetteland. 97 he blew it against The Indians. 98 he held it together, but he had the best Yankee team of this era backing him up. 99 and 00 he did his job, period. 01 he blew it in game 7 to Luis Gonzalez and The D'Backs. 02 another choke job to The Angels. 03, yet again. Now 04, we all remember how bad he was. So enough about Rivera being elite, he is good, that's it.
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Child of the Light
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Oct, 2004 12:18 pm
DYK:

Mariano Rivera started out as a starter. He was 5-3 in 10 career starts with a 5.51 ERA.

An all around failure.
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